H.E. President Farmajo’s speech on the Somali Partnership Forum (SPF)
Excellency’s, Distinguished Guests, and Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor to address this Partnership Forum for Somalia. Looking around the room I see many friends, colleagues with whom we enjoy an effective and meaningful partnership in Somalia. I recognize the high-level delegations from all partners in this room which includes ministers, ambassadors, and other senior government officials. Given the importance of this partnership for Somalia’s progress, I thank you all most sincerely for your participation.
The Somali Government extends its sincere gratitude to the European Union and its member state Sweden for co-hosting this Partnership Forum in Brussels, the home of the EU itself. We are cognizant that Somalia would not have made such clear and tangible progress without the partnership of other vital delegations represented here today, in particular, the African Union, United Nations, USA, Turkey, and all of the EU Member States. The centrality and unity our goal to achieve sustainable development in all its forms in Somalia is clear.
It is an honour that we are able to convene our progressive discussions on Somalia’s future here in Brussels following our last successful meeting in Mogadishu 6 months ago.
This is not the first time important Somali partnership meetings were held in Brussels; a city which embodies a vital message of unity and common purpose and exemplifies progress after painful destruction like nowhere else in the world. It is the place where Europe’s pledge of NEVER AGAIN returning to war is preserved and upheld.
We are determined to learn this lesson and move forward to build a strong, secure, progressive, and prosperous nation for the benefit of our resilient people. In this globalised world there has to be a reliable need for effective partnerships; we all benefit from enabling opportunities and overcoming common challenges like insecurity and poverty. Such challenges are the underlining causes of illegal migration.
In the past, the scale of Somalia’s challenges has made its relationship with partners somewhat unbalanced. We were not able to play our role to the fullest extent in setting the priorities and in leading the implementation of political and economic development initiatives. While we are sincerely grateful to all our partners, we want Somalia to be at the forefront in all reform processes and their implementations. We must be trusted to lead our political and economic transformation with renewed capacity and commitment.
The economic integration in the Horn of Africa is opening up huge opportunities for trade and investment for the people of the horn and beyond, Somalia is fully invested in taking its role in a broader and more robust economic and social transformation in the region.
In all our valuable discussions in this partnership forum, I hope you realized that the Somali government is committed to take greater responsibility to generate and disburse domestic revenue, to achieve debt relief, to strengthen security, to progressively shift from humanitarian aid to development support, and to prepare the path for Somalis to engage in a democratic process in 2020. All these national efforts are vital to our partnerships and will lead towards the realization of our set goals, allowing Somalia to play its RIGHTFUL role as the primary player for state building.
Our discussions that largely revolve around interconnected issues proves the importance of effective and diverse partnerships and strategic coordination, both internal and external.
I acknowledge that there are no quick fixes to resolve all of Somalia’s challenges, but strong commitments, hardwork and constant evaluations are needed to achieve tangible results. On that note, there should be no single issue that should be allowed to undermine a cohesive process towards stability, accountability, and development.
The interconnected nature of inclusive politics, security, economic reforms, and building human and environmental resilience should emphasize the urgency of working within the Mutual Accountability Framework. We will accelerate progress by capitalising on our individual strengths and collective resources for maximum impact for the benefit of the Somali people. I am confident of our collective commitment, and I am sure together we will fulfill our promise of moving Forward Together.
Since the Somali Partnership Forum in Mogadishu in December 2017, Somalia has taken significant steps to move forward in inclusive politics, economic recovery and reforms, security, and the fostering of resilience among our people. I have personally taken the lead, supported by my able Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, and his Cabinet, to ensure that what was agreed in all these areas was addressed and, in many cases, implemented.
Since then, we have successfully completed the second International Monetary Fund’s Staff Monitored Program (IMF SMP) and we are now progressing to a third one with an even more stringent set of benchmarks. We have implemented a 5% sales tax on imports and this has so far raised domestic revenue by around $1 million per month.
We acknowledge that Inclusive politics is a must if we are to fully overcome the past quagmire of poor governance, injustice, and conflict.
Accordingly, as part of the political reform agenda, we have initiated the vital Constitutional Review Process to address the anomalies in the Provisional Constitution. The National Constitution Convention held in Mogadishu on the 13th of May this year, brought together all relevant Somali stakeholders to discuss and guide the future direction of our country. Inclusive politics is always a challenge, particularly so, in a recovering, post conflict state. We are determined to get it right and sustainably move forward as a people and country; no Somali shall be left behind or forgotten in this process.
The historic Baydhabo Agreement has established a common position and framework for internal partnership on inclusive politics, economic reform, security, and resilience. This is a significant step in the right direction, especially since the process was, and will remain, Somali led and Somali owned. For this, I am grateful to all the leaders of the Federal Member States of Somalia as well as our international partners.
In addition, this government is engaging all stakeholders, beginning with the Somali people and the business community, to play their part in our national transformation. Since our last partnership forum in December last year in Mogadishu, our government has increased its engagement and partnership with the private sector, we are tackling corruption and human rights violations through legislation and education and, we are nurturing the stable consensus-based politics that will allow us to achieve inclusive politics.
EXCELLENCIES, LADIES AND GELTLEMEN
I am proud to announce that, after many years of trials, we have finally begun biometrically registering the Somali Soldiers, in addition to that, we have completed a viable Transition Plan.
There is concrete evidence of our government’s commitment to security reforms, economic progress, and strengthening partnerships.
In the next six to twelve months, the federal government will continue to concentrate its efforts on advancing the key priorities of state building on inclusive politics, economic reform, security, and building resilience. While the role of our valuable partners will continue to be critical, this role support must focus more on strengthening Somali institutions’ capacity to lead and deliver for the Somali people.
The Mutual Accountability Framework is the basis of Somalia’s partnership with the International community.
The Somali government is working tirelessly to improve the systems and processes that will further increase our ability to deliver vital basic services to our people. In this respect, notable progress has been made and I wish to acknowledge all our major partners, including, the International Financial Institutions and the EU who are pledging more resources. Your support for Somalia’s economic development allows us to work towards debt relief and the expansion of opportunities for the Somali people.
In all our bilateral and multilateral discussions, we agreed that Somalia’s progress will be holistic and inclusive, with accountable leadership from the federal government. We are all committed to this; the recent National Security Council meeting in Baydhaabo and it's outcome proves our strong willingness to collaborate and cooperate.
Somalia and its federal member states see a future of common prosperity where we cooperate meaningfully on the path to inclusive development and engagement. Accordingly, we urge all our international partners to incorporate this into their support and assistance.
Somalia is one entity, united by a shared vision and driven by a common purpose in favour of all the Somali people. I am proud to say, we are truly together.
Excellences, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Much progress has been made in improving our Country’s Systems, this would not have been possible without the support of many of our valuable partners. Therefore, in line with our fiscal, banking, and economic reforms, we urge all partners to commit to using our Country’s Systems to channel their development support and assistance.
Somalia’s resources and opportunities are boundless. Somalia offers investors and partner governments a golden opportunity to bridge profit and social progress. Investments will also lead to long term job creation, penetration of new markets, and a real deduction in aid support budgets. Investment can turn aid into trade and re-inject hope and a spirit of entrepreneurship in Somalia youth.
Excellences, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have before us an historic opportunity for enhanced partnership, built on our Mutual Accountability Framework, to deliver accelerated progress for our benefit. We need to work ever more closely to achieve our objectives of stability and progress in Somalia.
My government intends to move this country forward with our partners’ steadfast support.
Partnership is crucial for Somalia, it gives us means in recognizing, strengthening, and promoting Somalia’s desire to assume responsibility across the spectrum of development and progress issues.
I, once again, urge all our valuable partners to do this by aligning all support with the priorities set by the Somali government in the National Development Plan.
I once again urge all our valuable partners to align all support with the priorities set by the Somali government in the National Development Plan.
Finally, I wish to pay tribute to the African Union and men and women of AMISOM whose bravery and sacrifice has been essential to Somalia’s progress. We are grateful for your critical role in supporting my Government and the people of Somalia.
I thank you all!